LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – Summer vacation is the time many kids look forward to, but it is also the time of year when child abuse cases in Louisiana rise, according to the state department of social services.
"We depend a whole lot on our school system when kids are in school," said Sheri Hogg, with Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. ""So, [summer vacation] could possibly have an impact on maybe neglectful supervision of kids."
Nationally, Louisiana routinely ranks near the very bottom on lists that measure child welfare. In Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish is only behind Caddo Parish in the number of child abuse cases investigated by authorities.
"It's very multi-faceted, the reasons people abuse and neglect their kids," said Hogg.
Hogg noted that the economic uncertainty, such as dealing with a lost job, could play a role in the number of child abuse reports because it puts enormous stress on many parents, who end up taking their frustrations out on their children.
Hogg said seventy percent of child abuses cases stem from neglect.
Hogg said the number of reported cases would actually be higher, but many people who suspect child abuse fear upsetting neglectful parents, who may be family members, friends or neighbors. Hogg said people who notice child abuse also fear the parents will get word of who reported them and retaliate.
"Make the call to your local OCS office," advised Hogg. "Don't let fear freeze you from it, because it does make a difference when you report these things."
A child abuse awareness ride will take place Saturday, June 19th in Lake Charles.
For more information about child abuse, call the OCS Hotline at (337) 491-2545 or 1-800-CHILDREN (244-5273).